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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 09-14-2021, 11:42 PM
lihpster lihpster is offline
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Default Need info on the 681

Saw one for sale. Didn't look too close as I was doing the paperwork on my second gun for the day. Looked shooter grade used. I don't remember the price. I'm thinking I'm gonna go back and look at it. What is a good price? Are there any that are more valuable than others? I know that at least some of these are sought after, but I'm not sure if those were special editions. I don't know much about these. I didn't even know they existed until I joined this forum. TIA.
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:48 PM
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The 681 is basically a fixed sight 686 .357 Magnum. Some law enforcement agencies including the New York State Police issued them. But not all were LE guns. I have one that is a great shooter. I happen to have grown up on fixed sight guns. They seem to be sought after right now. You will see few for sale. As to price, I just don’t want to guess. Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:08 AM
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The last one I saw locally was from the Ohio State Patrol. Only had minor scuffs, box, Pach grips in addition to a set of magnas and sold for $850 + tax/fees as it was in a shop. That was right before the pandemic madness on prices.

Don't know if that helps or not.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:12 PM
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For a long time the fixed sighted revolvers like the 64, 65, 681 were the non-collectible shooters of the S&W world. That has certainly changed! I’m a big fan of the fixed sighted revolvers and am ashamed that I missed the $500 days of the 681 about 3 years ago. They have never been a plentiful item on gunbroker or other auction sites but when they are available now they aren’t cheap anymore.


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Old 09-15-2021, 12:18 PM
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I bought one and love shooting 38’s and 357. Not LE.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:48 PM
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If it is mechanically ok and the cosmetics of it are average or slightly above average with a few scratches and normal wear, I would guess $600 low end and $800 tops. If in pristine condition, probably $1000. Most of the LE models will have quite a bit of wear from duty use. Look it over good before striking on it. Don't see many of them for sale anymore and I would love to find one at a decent price (if there is such a thing these days.) Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2021, 01:40 PM
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The 681 is one of the Goldilocks guns, as in just-right.

Apart a few notable limited exceptions [PC, RSR, etc] they’re all 4-inch perfection.

I have a few duty-issued guns, a few NYSP versions, and of course…PigPen.

Try it, you’ll probably like it.

Some of the agency-marked guns, such as OHP and ConRail go for good bucks, and the NYSP guns have a Jovino connection…but prices are typically inline with common 686s.

Given the relative scarcity of the 681, these guns seems to be a tremendous bargain.
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Old 09-15-2021, 03:11 PM
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An OHP 681 is coming to the symposium in Tulsa!
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Old 09-15-2021, 03:20 PM
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I would say anything under $600 is BIN.

One of my 681’s has been out for round butting, fitting of 7 shot cylinder and chopping to 3 inch.

I hope to get it back sometime soon.



Someone asked. Mark Hartshorne has the 681.

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Old 09-15-2021, 03:40 PM
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I have a 681, early no dash no M stamp. Like it a lot.

I'd love to get a ConRail marked one someday.
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Old 09-15-2021, 03:43 PM
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I shoot mg 681 better than any other gun I own or have ever owned.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladder13 View Post
I would say anything under $600 is BIN.

One of my 681’s has been out for round butting, fitting of 7 shot cylinder and chopping to 3 inch.

I hope to get it back sometime soon.



Someone asked. Mark Hartshorne has the 681.

@Pinnacle High Performance.

That sounds like a bad mama jammer! Please post pics when you get the work done!!


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Old 09-16-2021, 10:52 PM
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I have three 681's, they are fun to collect and shoot. One is from the Ohio State Patrol, a second is from the Delaware State police, and my third one is from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:04 PM
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I have a no dash with German proofs in near mint condition; apparently sold in Germany in the 80s via US military sportsman program so an obviously an interesting relic. Fit and finish like most earlier Smiths is superb and I can attest to awesome balance and natural point ability. I have rarely see them for sale; I’m assuming those who have them are incline to keep them. Personally I would not sell mine for less than 1K...
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:47 PM
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The 681 is the handgun I'd keep if I were reduced to owning just one. It is rugged and reliable, yet also reasonably lightweight. I have owned and carried one off-and-on for nearly 40 years.

It is my favorite handgun.
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:38 AM
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681 no dash, M stamp. Picked up on Gun Broker a few years back for 4 bills. As with all of my Smiths it's a great shooter and I love the L frame for shooting 357's. From what I can see now it's probably worth close to double in today's market. Good luck finding one but if you do you won't be disappointed.
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:39 AM
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Try finding a 581.
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:14 AM
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Just got a -1 and while I like it, compared to a J frame it's a GIGANDO gun that feels like it's made from plutonium. Let's hope I never have to use an N frame...
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:30 AM
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I can't speak on current market value, but never had any personal use for larger fixed sighted guns. I want adjustable sights on anything other than a pocket/belly gun. Now collecting is a different story, I'm just talking for my own personal use. It's one of limited number of issues I agree with Elmer Keith on.
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Old Yesterday, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
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Try finding a 581.
Well if we're playing hide and seek I haven't found a 681 but I did find one of these. Got lucky last year. It too is a no dash.

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Old Today, 01:02 PM
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I have had my 681 for quite a few yrs . It's stamped " CAI " on the barrel which is " Century Arms Int'l " . It's been exported for use , then was imported back here . My fiance will say , " are you taking that gun that you shoot so well " ? It's that accurate for me .
For those interested , my std every day load is the Ray Thompson designed cast bullet , 358156 but mine is plain based instead of gas checked . Tom @ Accurate Molds made 2/ 4 cav molds , plain based for me . Using harder alloy they weigh 158 grs , using softer alloy 163 grs . For powder I use 7.5 grs of Winchester Super Field all loaded in a 357 case . This has been my " go-to " load for 357's for many years . It has plenty of power , clean shooting and is deadly accurate . Regards Paul

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Old Today, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
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I have had my 681 for quite a few yrs . It's stamped " CAI " on the barrel which is " Century Arms Int'l " . It's been exported for use , then was imported back here . My fiance will say , " are you taking that gun that you shoot so well " ? It's that accurate for me .
For those interested , my std every day load is the Ray Thompson designed cast bullet , 358156 but mine is plain based instead of gas checked . Tom @ Accurate Molds made 2/ 4 cav molds , plain based for me . Using harder alloy they weigh 158 grs , using softer alloy 163 grs . For powder I use 7.5 grs of Winchester Super Field all loaded in a 357 case . This has been my " go-to " load for 357's for many years . It has plenty of power , clean shooting and is deadly accurate . Regards Paul
I have a CAI-marked gun, and the person with whom I spoke thought they came in from Australia.
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